New details have come to light about Ben Cousins' latest return to footy after the fallen AFL star landed a coaching role in Perth. It emerged last month that Cousins had been working with WAFL side Perth Demons.
According to The West Australian, the former Brownlow medallist has been working once a week in an assistant coaching role, which is set to continue in 2023. On Thursday it emerged that he will work with the club's under-19s colts team this year.
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Cousins' connection to the Perth Demons goes back a number of years, with the former West Coast Eagles captain's father Bryan playing 240 games for the club in the 1970s and 80s. Fellow former West Coast hero and 2014 Brownlow Medal winner Matt Priddis is also currently working as a midfield coach at the club.
Cousins is attempting to get his life back on track after a staggering fall from grace since his retirement. He was convicted of stalking his ex-partner in November 2021 and spent more than six months in jail.
The 44-year-old has battled a well-documented drug addiction and had a number stints behind bars. In his pomp he was one of the AFL's top midfielders and played a crucial role in West Coast Eagles' premiership triumph in 2006.
He played 238 games for West Coast but his off-field troubles cost him the captaincy in early 2006 and he was sacked by the club after the 2007 season. He returned to the AFL in 2009 to play 32 games for Richmond before he retired at the end of 2010.
In 2021 he made his return to the footy field for Queens Park in the Perth Metro Football League. He also captained one of the teams in the Footy for Life charity match in January last year to help raise awareness for mental health, marking the first time he had captained a footy side since the 2005 grand final with West Coast.
Ben Cousins attempting to get life back on track
In a revealing interview in November, Cousins said he was "kidding himself" into thinking he was okay during some of the darkest moments of his spiral. He said: “It just gets back to being happy and for a long time, I hadn’t been and I had those fleeting moments where I thought I was kidding myself just to try and get by.
“It’s been a big struggle but today I sit here and it’s not in any way about the things I’ve given up or had to give up or sacrifice, it’s all about things I can give back.”
At the end of 2021 he attended the Brownlow Medal ceremony for the first time in 11 years, with fans noting that he looked happy and healthy alongside friend Kellye Fergus. When asked at the ceremony if he was back on the right path, Cousins replied: "Yeah absolutely. It's definitely a big night. It's been a while since I've been to one of the football industry nights.
"(There's been) a little bit behind the scenes, but that's part of it. You find yourself in different situations along the way. It's just great to be here tonight.
"There's been plenty of people. I won't go into it tonight. I'm just very fortunate that I've got the opportunity to come to one of football's great nights."
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